Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cleaning Your Microwave - The Easy Way

Do you cringe when you hear the 'pop' coming from your microwave as your warming up your lunch? Yeah, me too. It's just another mess to clean up that probably could have been prevented by a simple napkin placed over the plate. Kind of annoying, right? If you're like me you probably got distracted and didn't clean up the mess right away so things are now hard and crusty. Lovely!

Well here is my simple method for cleaning my dirty microwave.

All you need is a bowl of water and lemon juice (if you want a fruity clean smell).

Fill a bowl with water and lemon. Then heat that bowl of water for about 3-4 minutes and let that steam do most of the cleaning work for you. Don't open the door when it beeps. just let the bowl and steam sit in the micro for a few more minutes.

Once it's time to clean take a wet rag and wipe down the microwave. You'll hardly have to scrub at all as the steam will have softened everything up making for a nice and easy to clean microwave!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Busy, Busy & Mini-Cupcakes!

Has it really been well over a week since I last posted? Wow. We've been a busy bunch around here. Last week we had our house warming/office open house for our orthodontic office. Although we opened in Sept we wanted to wait until the holiday rush was over.

I, with the help of many others, was busy getting things all ready for that. I'm excited to share a few recipes we used for our refreshments, but until I have a moment to do so here is a fun picture. Our sister in-law made the cake and I did the mini-cupcakes. That was a first for me in the mini department. It was actually a lot of fun and not nearly as hard or intimidating as I thought it would be (more on that later).

I hope everyone is doing well. Can you believe it's February tomorrow?! Wowza!

If you'd like to see more pictures of the cake and festivities and get a good laugh at my husband's picture captions visit Johnson Family Orthodontics on facebook!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cream Puffs

These little cream puffs are amazing. A friend made them for a get together a few weeks ago and she left us with a plate of them. I could NOT stop eating them. They were light, fluffy and incredibly creamy.

When she gave me the recipe I was surprised how easy they were to make, which made me super excited. I decided to experiment with food coloring and adding almond flavoring to my batch. They were perfect!!

Cream Puffs
original recipe HERE


  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix (or whatever flavor of pudding you want)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs


  1. Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
  5. When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade Playdough

We are having a snow day here in Oregon. It's actually just a 2 hr delay, but our hill is terrible right now. We've been watching cars and trucks slide down the hill and struggle to get up it all morning., so we opted to stay safe at home today.

So, with all the kids home we pulled out our homemade playdough recipe and got to work. This is one of my kids favorite things to make, probably because I let them each choose their own color. It's more fun that way.

This is a very simple recipe, hardly costs a thing and is totally safe for your little ones to play with, especially if they decide to "taste" it. This is a recipe that we've been making for years.

Homemade Playdough
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 TB cooking oil
1 tsp cream of tarter *
Food coloring

Put all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low-med heat until a soft ball forms. Use a rubber spatula to scrape dough from bottom and sides of pan as it heats. It only takes 1-3 minutes for the ball to form. Turn off heat and dump ball out on countertop. Knead the ball for about 30 seconds (careful, it's hot) and then you're ready to play!

Store in an airtight container and it will keep for about 2 weeks.

*If you don't have cream of tarter you can leave it out or substitute baking powder. However, the playdough will probably only last about 2-3 days before it gets sticky.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Favorite Things Birthday Banner!

Today is my husband's birthday and our cute little kids really wanted to decorate his birthday cake with all of his favorite things (Blazers, Tim Tebow, Boise State Football etc. . .). However, he doesn't really like cake and will be having pie for his birthday so I directed them to make a banner instead.

So they got to work finding and printing out pictures all of his favorite sports teams and hobbies. Our 8, 6, and 4 year olds all cut out the pictures and then stapled them to a ribbon and hung it on the mantle.

I wish I would have taken a picture of them in the creating process cutting, determining an order and taking turns stapling. They were so excited and things even got a little tense as they were trying to make it perfect for their Papi. They couldn't wait to show off their master piece!

I envisioned making it a pendant banner with cardstock and then glueing the pictures on top, but I really wanted the kids to do this on their own. I think it turned out so great and it was a perfect way to celebrate Cole and his favorite things!

I think we might make this 'Favorite Things Banner'  a new tradition in our family! Your birthday is about YOU, right?!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

My husband and I really like to use fresh cilantro. It can liven up a plain salad, give a kick to a bean burrito and add a splash of color to a variety of dishes.

However, cilantro can get limp and gross in a hurry. A few years ago I came across this little tip to keep your cilantro perky, fresh and ready to use.

Simple cut off the bottom 1-2 inches of the cilantro bunch, put it in a shallow cup of water and stick it in the fridge. Simple as that and it keeps your cilantro fresh for a really long time!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blog Swap with Crafting and Creativity!

Please welcome Crafting and Creativity . . . she's sure got some cute ideas. Take a look!

I'm happy to be here at The Family Scientista today!

I'm Sarah; I blog over at Crafting and Creativity...

I'm a 20-something mother of 2. My son is 4 and my daughter will be 2 in the spring.
I am lucky that I am able to stay home with them!

I like making pretty things- things for our home, things for my daughter's hair, and the odd sewing project.
Here are a few of my fave projects...

this was made using a cabinet door & I used wrapping paper for the back!

I also love doing fun parties for my kids' birthdays!

I hope to see you over at Crafting and Creativity soon!

Daisha, thanks for having me! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mom's Chicken Enchiladas

This is my mom's chicken enchilada recipe, one that we've been loving for decades. There's nothing fancy about it, but I think that's what makes it so great. It's creamy chicken goodness and our whole family loves it!

Chicken Enchiladas
Makes about 12 to 15 enchiladas.

2 cups cooked chicken - chopped
2 cups sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups grated jack cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
7 oz can chopped green chilies
2 TB chopped onions (dry is great too)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

12-15 flour tortillas
grated cheese to sprinkle on top

Combine all ingredients. Spoon a small amount onto the center of the tortilla and roll up. Place in baking pans. Sprinkle extra cheese on top.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hello Pinterest!!

I avoided it for as long as I could, Pinterest that is. I knew another social network would suck up more of my time each day (I'm not always great at managing my time), but I caved.

I asked to be invited and yesterday when I got the email to make my account I did it.  As soon as I got started and saw everything that people posted on their boards my heart starting racing, but in a totally anxiety filled way. Talk about sensory overload!

Scrolling down the page my eyes and mind couldn't keep up fast enough with the decadent desserts, beautiful bouquets of flowers, the kid crafty foods, diy dressers, yarn wreaths and plethora of other great projects and recipes to tackle. But after a few minutes (and several deep breaths) I knew I was going to be ok.

Um, hello? No longer am I scrolling through long lists of bookmarked pages (even if semi-organized) to find the recipe I want (rather frustrating). Now I click onto my 'Favorite Foods' or 'Recipes to Try' board and I'm greeted with lovely pictures and links to food I can make! So simple and I LOVE it.

I vow not to let Pinterest take over my life, but to let it help me organize my life and all the food, crafty and homemaking endeavors I'm aiming to try. After all, that's just what this Family Scientista blog is all about . . . homemaking experiments from my family lab!!

*Welcome to anyone new to my site. I'm so glad you stopped by! Take a few moments and look around. I'm just creeping back into blog land and will have my 'pages' at the top updated as soon as possible.

In the mean time please stay in touch by becoming my newest Follower (top right) or following me on PinterestFollow Me on Pinterest

Happy Weekend Everyone!! I hope it's a great one!


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